A spokesperson for Market Basket’s majority shareholders released a statement just after 9 p.m. Saturday night, claiming they “are, and have been” prepared to sell their majority ownership of the company to former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
The group, led by Arthur T.’s rival and cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, said they have repeatedly offered to sell the stock for Arthur T.’s asking price this week, but blamed the ongoing impasse on his refusal to accept certain conditions in the deal’s financing:
The Class A Shareholders, including trustees with fiduciary duties, have offered to provide financing for Arthur T. Demoulas’ purchase if he does not have enough cash to close. The terms included an interest bearing loan secured by collateral that has an acceptable payment schedule. We have been advised that it would be irresponsible to make a loan without collateral, interest or a payment schedule, similar to terms that would apply to any traditional bank loan.
Our proposal would permit Arthur T. Demoulas to return to work immediately to work collaboratively to stabilize the business on terms proposed by the independent directors of the Market Basket Board if the Class B Shareholders would commit to buy our interests. Our proposal, made last week and reiterated throughout this week, has not been accepted.
Arthur T. Demoulas’ conduct to date, including his most recent public statement, continues to undermine Market Basket and the Class B Shareholders have not indicated a willingness to engage in good faith discussions for a sale. The Class B Shareholders have given us no choice at this time but to consider all available options to sell our equity in order to protect the interests of all Market Basket stakeholders.
We have given Arthur T. Demoulas and the other Class B Shareholders many opportunities to end the current controversy. We continue to be prepared to sell our interests in Market Basket for the price originally proposed by Arthur T. Demoulas.
Arthur T. has not commented in reply to the accusations.
The statement, the latest in a series of back-and-forth press releases between the negotiating parties, comes a day after the board made public a proposal in which Arthur T.’s former management team could return to work. Arthur T. responded through a spokesperson later that day, dismissing the “disingenuous” offer as a negotiating ploy.
“This is an attempt to have him stabilize the company, while they consider selling it to another bidder,” he said.
Arthur T. previously offered to come back as CEO as the negotiations continued.
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly described Arthur S. Demoulas’s role at Market Basket.